LS: Support Local Arts December 07, 2008
Put the arts on your Christmas list
Just like the local artists in this city, it’s time to get creative ... about spending and giving.
It’s no secret some arts and nonprofit organizations are struggling this year, and this time of year especially.
Donations are down, tickets sales are declining and people are turning to discount stores.
But with some creative shopping, the good girls and boys on your shopping list can benefit from unique gifts, and you can feel good about buying locally.
“Why not start your holiday gift plans right here in the valley?” said Marla Wood, director of The Blue Pig Gallery in Palisade. “It’s a great way to keep the arts as a strong part of the local economy.”
Wood calls it giving the gift of inspiration.
MAKE A DATE
• “You can pop it in a purse, you can throw it in a car,” said Linda Brotman-Evans, director of ArtSpace and Open Studios, about the 2009 planner “Artists of Western Colorado,” shown at right.
The metal–bound weekly datebook features artwork by local artists and ample space for writing important dates and activities.
Proceeds from sales help ArtSpace, a nonprofit, offer resources to individual artists in the community through art programs, business classes, scholarships and more.
COFFEE ON AIR
• KAFM 88.1 Community Radio has its own coffee blend called “Magic Beans.”
You can support local radio, and a special coffee lover, by buying the organic, shade-grown coffee beans at Coffee Muggers, 644 Main St., for $8.81 for a half–pound bag.
GO–GO GALLERY GIFT SHOPS
Gallery gift shops are great places to find unexpected treasures or stocking stuffers. Items purchased at gift shops benefit both the artist and the gallery.
• The gift shop in The Art Center on Seventh Street has a rotating collection of work by local artists and authors and a few odds and ends such as Crazy Crayons, shown at right, ($2 to $3) that are in the shape of funny animals, firefighter hats, the globe and dinosaurs. These recycled crayons from elementary schools come with a recycled paper note pad.
Also for sale: Four books by local authors for $39 in a holiday gift bag, prints, pottery, note cards, jewelry, blown glass and scarves.
• The Blue Pig Gallery in Palisade sells coffee mugs, tea mugs, wine glasses, T–shirts, hats and tote bags with the gallery’s signature logo. You’ll find artwork in a variety of media and techniques, such as note cards by local artists for $12 to $15, and one of a kind hand-painted cards, see left, by Sara Alyn Oakley (which you could even frame).
• You never know what you’ll find for sale at Planet Earth & the 4 Directions Gallery, 524 Colorado Ave. Along with vintage clothing and a gallery, look for photography, jewelry and crafts from local artists year–round.
Check Open Houses, Arts & Craft Fairs
• The Holiday Open House and Artist Trunk Show is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturd ay at The Magpie Gallery, 335 E. Bridge St., in Hotchkiss. It features recycled and vintage fabric clothing by Elisabethan, body products made from grapes grown at the Leroux Creek Vineyard, hand–painted silk scarves by Lynn Mattingly and more.
• The Christmas Open House at the Western Colorado Botanical Gardens is from 4–8 p.m. today . Call 245-3288 for information.
• The Willow Pond Bed and Breakfast Open House is from 1–5 p.m. today with works by local artists and musicians.
Sign up yourself or someone else for a class in art, beading, music photography, dance and more.
• The Art Center offers a Holiday Art Camp For Kids from Dec. 29 through Jan. 2. Students learn with art projects in clay, cartooning, painting, drawing and even music. Sign up by Dec. 20 by calling 243-7337, ext. 2. The class costs $92 for non-members. The Art Center’s adult classes begin Jan. 5, another Christmas gift option.
• Frameworks & Gallery, 309 Main St., hosts digital photography classes by Steve Traudt, who formerly taught through 13 Photography. His classes start in January. Call 243-7074 for information.
• Jeweler Virginia Jensen teaches classes on beading through the art store The Artist’s Haven, 527 Bogart Lane. She offers two classes a month on Saturdays. Private lessons are also available. Cost is $24 for a two-hour class. For information, visit the store or call 243-1220.
• Many local musicians give lessons, and several bars around town offer free dance lessons on certain nights. Many local artists teach classes in their specialities.
One of the best resources for finding a teacher or an arts– and culture–related organization and individual is The Sourcebook.
The directory of Grand Junction area artists and art organizations is compiled by the Grand Junction Commission on Arts & Culture.
It’s available free at the city’s Parks and Recreation office in Lincoln Park, The Art Center, Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, the Visitor and Convention Bureau’s Welcome Center and Mesa County Libraries’ Central Library.
FOR ALL SEASONS
• Support an organization year–round by buying season tickets.
Mesa State College, the Two Chairs Theater Company, the Western Slope Chamber Music Concert Series and the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra offer season ticket packages for under $100.
• All kinds of original pottery and art pieces can be found at the Mesa State College student art sale.
The sale runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at the Johnson Art Gallery in the College Center on the corner of 12th Street and Elm Avenue.
Proceeds go to the artists, with a portion donated to the Mesa State Art Scholarship Fund.
• The Campus Design Studio run by Mesa State College students in its graphic design program offers design work from posters to business cards to promotional material.
SIGNS OF SUPPORT
Go to a live music concert, buy a local musician’s CD or attend an art opening; these go a long way toward encouraging local artists and musicians.
• Check out the Working Artists Gallery, 520 Main St.
The store is crammed with plenty of stuff, such as stained glass sun catchers, pottery, metal work, paintings, jewelry and other odds and ends. It’s easy to find a local artist you will want to support.
Check for 20 percent–off specials during December.